St. Vincent Distillers’ rum is made on a two-column still and aged in once-used bourbon oak barrels. Rum offerings range from white to aged, and blended products. Locally, the most popular product is Sunset Very Strong Rum, which is 84.5 percent alcohol by volume, and is often blended with other ingredients to produce a distinctive flavour. SLR is a smooth, white rum, bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume. Captain Bligh XO and Sparrow’s Premium Rum are both aged rums with unique, smooth, palatable flavors to satisfy all the “brown rum” aficionados. Phillippa Greaves, Marketing Manager of St. Vincent Distillers, acknowledges, “The distillers get all the credit here for the distilling and bottling of these fine elixirs, which are sought after by wine connoisseurs, internationally, as a result of the many world rum awards and accolades that our brands have received.”

In 10 years, St. Vincent Distillers progressed from a small distillery producing rum solely for the local market, to an internationally recognized producer and exporter. All brands are now exported to the U.S., U.K., Germany, BVI, Trinidad, Barbados, Antigua, and Australia. The biggest challenge, right now, is obtaining molasses. Most of the Caribbean islands no longer grow sugar (the base for making rum), so the OECS distilleries have to import molasses from further afield, like Mexico. Even Guyana, one of the last large Caribbean islands to produce sugar on a big scale, has recently shut down three factories. “That’s why we no longer get sugar from them,” says Greaves. “So, it’s a huge concern. Rum, of course, sells, so that isn’t a worry. It’s definitely the drink of choice now, globally. But looking further ahead, we have to be innovative if we’re going to continue to get molasses. Places like India, Fiji, Mexico still grow sugar, so once we can get a broker to buy it on the world-wide market, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

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